The rapid advances in digital and automation technologies have led to new developments in a number of industries, the retail industry being one of them. From check-out to inventory management, fulfillment to in-store facilities, retail technology includes the implementation of innovations and digital solutions in retail and e-commerce processes. The use of retail technology plays a fundamental role in customer experience. Today, both brick-and-mortar and online businesses invest in many aspects of retail technology. In-store retail tech tools include the use of technologies powered by Artificial Intelligence, such as smart mirrors and self-checkouts. For e-commerce businesses, retail technologies enable efficient inventory management with the help of cloud software, help manage customer bases and maintain a frictionless retail experience across multiple platforms through CRM tools.
Size of the global retail automation market in 2021
12.2b U.S. dollars
Value of funding received by in-store retail technology companies worldwide in 2021
10.5b U.S. dollars
Share of U.S. consumers who will have used AR devices when buying products online by 2025
Retail technology is key for brick-and-mortar companies, B2B and B2C e-commerce businesses, online marketplaces, and e-services like meal kit and food delivery. In recent years, financial funding into these segments has grown substantially, encouraging businesses towards the digital transformation of their organizations. In 2021, investments and funding of over 100 billion U.S. dollars went into retail tech deals across all sectors.
Retail technology aids both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce companies in several steps of their business processes. Supply chain and logistics are areas in which both online and conventional retail companies benefit from digital solutions. For e-commerce and multichannel businesses, retail technologies such as payments and personalization attract more investment and interest. On the store front, retail technology plays a big part in transforming today's retail stores into experiential spaces.
Digital technologies in retail are widely used by e-commerce businesses, but it is brick-and-mortar and multichannel retail businesses that are now spearheading the adoption of retail technologies in the retail industry at large. Among the in-store retail technologies that companies prioritize are smart or self-checkout kiosks, smart fitting rooms powered by augmented or virtual reality, and widespread digital payment options.
Worldwide, the largest share of investments and funding into retail tech is concentrated in Asia. This is not surprising seeing as the region currently has the highest online revenues and the most e-commerce users. North America is a close runner-up, having received around 34 percent of global retail tech funding as of the third quarter of 2022. Compared to the biggest two retail tech trailblazers, Europe is lagging behind in terms of retail tech investments.
Retail technology refers to the digital tools and innovations utilized by brick-and-mortar retailers and e-commerce platforms in their in-store and supply chain operations. It sits at the heart of the digital transformation of retail businesses. Retail technology tools are often powered by automation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Data on retail technology provided by Statista cover the usage of retail technology in both physical and online retail, monitoring the current and planned investment and roll-out of retail technologies in the larger retail and e-commerce sectors.